On 7 February 2019, Kornit Digital announced that it has closed a definitive asset purchase agreement with US machinery and equipment distributor Hirsch Solutions “to purchase remaining Kornit business assets related to the distribution agreement between the companies”. Kornit has taken ownership of all Kornit-related customer business assets as well as the remaining inventory of systems and ink. Hirsch first signed an agreement to distribute Kornit in the US in 2008.

On the same day, Kornit began operating a full direct-to-customer model in North America. Images asked Kornit whether it is planning to operate a direct-customer model in Europe, Oliver Luedtke, director of marketing for EMEA at Kornit, replied: “In the diversified market of Europe, there is a need to complement Kornit’s leading technology with local market expertise and connections. There are no plans right now to change our successful go-to-market model in EMEA.”

On 13 February 2019, Hirsch announced that it will be providing global DTG distribution, service and support for the Ovaljet DTG system, which it reports is capable of printing 240 full-size, full-colour prints an hour, “with the lowest ink cost in the industry”.

“We’re excited to begin 2019 as a stepping-off point to embrace the future of digital printing,” says Paul Gallagher, CEO of Hirsch. “In addition to providing revolutionary improvement to mass personalisation fulfilment providers, Ovaljet is the perfect entryway for screen printers to transition production to flexible and cost-efficient DTG printing.

“The Ovaljet system provides a flexible and all-inclusive solution that includes a state-of-the-art multi-location order processing and production management system – from inventory acquisition, barcoding and tracking; process management, control and reporting; right through to package labelling and shipping.” [See Images March 2018 for more information on this system.]

“Direct to garment is all about speed to your customer – with our new technology, we can move as fast and efficiently as a silk screener, but print different designs on each and every garment,” said Blair Dorsey, founder and CEO of Ovaljet.

In response to whether Kornit sees Ovaljet as a serious competitor to its DTG systems, Oliver said: “We watch the competitive landscape carefully and respect every player that is with us in this exciting and dynamic market of digital textile printing. However, with our 2,000 installations in the market, the majority of them being industrial scope, a broad product range including Hexa systems, HD technology, strong software partners and a worldwide service and support network, millions of garments printed on Kornit systems every month, in all honesty, I doubt it is fair to compare us with a vendor that is obviously at the first steps of solidifying their technology and appointing their very first sales partners.”